Van Dijk ‘turned into Maguire’ as Liverpool star trolled after Brighton draw

Virgil van Dijk did not enjoy his best day in a Liverpool shirt on Saturday and his performance against Brighton prompted uncomplimentary comparisons with Harry Maguire.

Van Dijk has enjoyed a strong return to the Liverpool side this season after missing the majority of the 2020/21 campaign with a serious knee injury.

The Dutch defender has retaken his place in Jurgen Klopp’s side and has generally been the calming influence you would expect.

However, all players have bad days at the office and one of those came for Van Dijk against Brighton at Anfield.

All looked to be running smoothly initially as goals from Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane gave the hosts a 2-0 lead after just 24 minutes.

But Graham Potter’s side fought back admirably as Enock Mwepu found the net from 25 yards and Leandro Trossard slotted in from Adam Lallana’s pass.

Brighton even briefly believed they had won it when Trossard added a late third, which was ruled out by the offside flag.

Klopp admitted that the 2-2 draw felt like a defeat and fans did not pull their punches when analysing Van Dijk’s performance on social media.

While Maguire bounced back as part of Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Tottenham on Saturday, he has struggled in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side recently, with the heavy losses against Leicester and Liverpool prompting harsh criticism.

What did you make of Virgil van Dijk's performance against Brighton? Have your say in the comments section below.

Therefore it is clear the comparison between the two players was not meant to be taken as a compliment for Van Dijk.

“Brighton turned Van Dijk into Harry Maguire,” wrote one fan on Twitter.

“Brighton taking Van Dijk to the cleaners today,” added another.

Another wrote: “van Dijk's worst game in an LFC shirt. His inability to control the last line and general lax performance saw Brighton expose Liverpool in transition thanks to Graham Potter's tactical switch at half time to leave 3 attackers high in transition. This ruined LFC's overall control.”

“Van dijk is getting sloppy.. A disaster waiting to happen,” added one supporter.

“Trossard toyed with Van Dijk,” was another conclusion.

After the match Klopp was asked about a moment where he was seen shouting instructions at his towering defender.

“I don’t know 100 per cent, we have conversations quite a lot of times,” Klopp said.

“So, there is never one explanation, you cannot now make a massive story of that because I said before we didn’t defend the half-spaces right. That’s the problem.

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“When the guy on the ball is not under pressure, you cannot have a high last line, so then the last line drops in that moment and all of a sudden we put pressure on it and then they have to push up again.

“So, these kind of things, we have clear rules, clear moments for when we do what. It’s not an easy one.

“Now I know it [what the exchange was about], it was the one where [Solly] March was pretty much the only player up-front for Brighton and Virgil was too far away.

“In that moment it was about that but yes, a normal coach-player talk.”

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